lasted an hour, and it was after three when—clean and shining in his best suit, a gleaming Eton collar, a perfectly tied tie, neatly gartered stockings and radiant boots with tags tucked down inside—he was allowed to set off down the road towards the Vicarage. He walked slowly. As all the other Outlaws were away from home, it wasn't likely to be a very exciting affair, but at any rate there would be the treacle cake—and the Vicar. The Vicar could always be counted upon for entertainment.
He was vaguely aware of a figure approaching him from the opposite direction, but beyond noting almost subconsciously that it was adult and feminine, he took no interest in it. He was surprised to find that it stopped in front of him. He looked up with a start. It was the woman with the pince-nez and the hair.
" Well," she said grimly, "I'm on my way to see your father." Then she stopped and faltered, " You —you are William Brown, aren't you ? " she said uncertainly. William saw at once what had happened. He was so clean and tidy as to be almost unrecognisable as the hero of the morning's escapade. As she scanned his features still more closely he saw her uncertainty changing again to certainty. William's features were, after all, unmistakable.
" You are, aren't you ? " she said.
And then William had an inspiration—or rather an INSPIRATION—or rather an INSPIRATION—the sort of INSPIRATION that comes to most of us only once in a lifetime, but that visited William more frequently.
Fixing her with a virtuous and mournful gaze, he said: " No, I'm not William Brown. I'm his twin brother."
Her severity vanished.
" I see," she said. " I could see a strong resemblance, but yet I was sure that there was some difference, though I couldn't have said what it was. He was very dirty and untidy, of course."